The Problem With Flowers

by Lisa 

Inspired by that over-the-top dutch still life that I showed here on the blog last week or so, I decided to attempt a similar complicated-ass composition that Liberace himself would have loved. Bill will be proud of me for I set out to steal every flower on the botanical chart. I actually went on the prowl at night to remain incognito (who knew it would be hard to see flowers then). Okay, I did buy some too, but it was far more fun hunting the wild ones, and the not so wild ones. I knew I would need many colors and varieties to chose from to pull it off. Flower painting is tricky business. I refuse to paint fake ones, and the real ones do not sit still for long. So here I created a mountain of flowers, and had a limited time to paint them in. Scared the HELL out of me.

In fact, I have a theory now…now that I have beat my brains out for the past two days over this…when I look at that still life by that anal retentive artist from hundreds of years ago, I think that he must have posed one flowers at a time to have painted it with that much attention to detail. There is no way he could have painted the whole thing in two days. Perhaps he kept replacing the flowers? No. They never look the same. And did he have that soakable foam that you can strategically place the flowers in like I did? NOT. Also, he had to have been WAY handicapped by the natural light. One flower at a time I tell you, and simply a master of composition, he.

Jump ahead 400 years to the dawn of the industrial world and life in the fast HOV lane. And he did say let there be light. So I decided to simulate daylight so that I could paint as long as I freakin wanted to. The light is 1000 watts, and that is a sheet of vellum stapled to the frame. Very soft, DE-licious light, like m&m’s melting in your mouth. It is one tall order to look at something that beautiful and know that it is now your job to do it justice.


I will post the painting when it is done…and I have rested in the Bahamas for a week.

This entry was posted in Painting, Still Life, Supplies, Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Problem With Flowers

  1. wrjones says:

    It does not seem possible to paint them before they die. Do you need a little meth to speed you up? I’m sticking with a handfull of tiny flowers in a cup.

    PS I hope these will be done in time for you to color me some Easter eggs.

  2. grfxho says:

    Gorgeous set-up, Lisa. I can’t wait to see the final product.

  3. I agree, it is a beautiful set-up. I, too, can’t wait to see the finished painting. Will you be doing some plein air painting in the Bahamas? Bring pastels instead!

  4. Pingback: In The Nick of Time « On Painting

  5. Beautiful floral painting in the previous post as beautiful set up in this one, can’t wait to see the finished product. I can relate to this as I paint flowers as well. For me the trick is waking up early. Concerning what you were saying about earlier masters, maybe it comes down to memory painting. When I look up close at a painting by Severin Roesen it seems to me that he was so familiar with his subject matter, that he could invent it. And I know that Martin Johnson Heade would do a painting from life of flowers and then take that study and create a more finished painting. And I believe Dutch painters did something similar, as I’ve seen watercolor studies which I believe were used as source material for the more finished oil paintings. I appreciate all that, but I think there is something exciting to just tackling it alla prima. Anyway, keep up the beautiful paintings and look forward to seeing more and reading more on your blog.

  6. lbtowers says:

    Walter the finished product was posted on 4/3 in case you missed it. And thanks for your interesting comment. You are a good little sleuth. I like your theory of how those old dawgs did it.

  7. wrjones says:

    Walter, for God’s sake, don’t admit to painting flowers. It is ok to do it in the privacy of your home but for public you should talk about painting guns, knives, football games, etc. Really, Walter, you are an embarrassment to the rest of us manly painters. We are going to add a link to your site so we can quickly check you are painting the right stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s